Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Director: Allan Kroeker
Air Date: 11/12/03
This episode is a bit darker than what we've come to expect from the show--and sheds some much-desired light on Lou's backstory. Also, it's good to see Kyle taking Jake to task for his reckless behaviour, reminding him and the audience that's not what the job is about. Chris Gorham deserves major kudos for making Jake's role-play as Gant believable. He doesn't just swagger and pitch his voice lower, stepping up to the pugilistic plate, but he makes us as well as the Pack believe he is tough-as-nails Sgt. Gant, while still letting just enough panic show that we can see Jake is terrified. However, it's Jake's ability to not let the panic overwhelm him that is at the heart of this week's episode. And it makes the transition from tech support geek to superspy all the more believable, though one wonders in a season or two (God and UPN execs willing) how much of the Jake we met in the pilot may remain after too many missions like this one. Jake grows up a lot, and also shows that the guy who couldn't remember 12 in the clip one in the pipe a few months earlier is learning how to think on his feet, hit people when he has to, and sue his brains over his nanite-enhanced brawn when he was to as well. The series hasn't ditched Jake's super-geek side, but is showing him maturing as a field agent slowly and believably over time. Kyle and Lou shine--and it's fun as hell to see Lou in a tank top, throwing Jake around like a rag doll. You believe this woman can kick your ass. Moreover, you believe she will kick your ass. For all of her mother-hen scenes, she also is perfectly willing to put the mission ahead of her personal feelings about her agents. It's the streak of ruthlessness that makes her so cool. Vancouver mainstay Steven Williams (best known as Captain Fuller of 21 JUMP STREET and most recently seen as Mr. X on THE X-FILES) is fun as Freewald, particularly as he fills Jake in on how Lou got the nickname "Tankbuster" and you easily believe him as the greying version of Hartman sans the traitorous tendencies. Sheppard (also an X-FILES alum, and the deliciously Pratchett-esque Badger on FIREFLY) sans native London accent is grim-n-gritty as Hartman, and is perfectly cast as a psycho military leader. Munro is a little baby-faced as Lawrence, but knows cool tricks to get out of handcuffs.
Quotes of the Week:
Kyle (to Lou): "Apparently, there is no 'we' in nanites."
Jake: "I don't really do well with teams. Or packs. Especially in uniform. Jocks, frat guys, marching bands--they eat people like me for breakfast."
Lou: "Hoo-ah means yes, please, thank you, pass the ammo and praise the lord. Do you understand? When in doubt, Hoo-ah."
Lou: "You don't have to yell it all the time, okay?"
Lou: "In God we trust. All others, we monitor."
Jake: "Okay. And I'm gonna do that before or after the monkeys fly outta my butt?"
Hartman: "It was a hairy furball that night. Bodies flailing everywhere. Didn't know which way was up. You couldn't fight your way out. All you could do was give in. And give in, we did."
Hartman: "Son, you never visited a Panamanian whorehouse?"
Jake: "I can neither confirm nor deny that I have ever been to Panama."